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UK government outlines measures to make Britain's power network more resilient

The Energy Emergencies Executive Committee (E3C) has published a report reviewing a power cut last August that affected over 1 million customers across England and Wales and some parts of Scotland.

The report was commissioned by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) following the incident, and outlines a robust action plan for the prevention and management of further power disruption events.

Andrea Leadsom, the Business and Energy Secretary, has confirmed that the report’s action plan will be implemented in full.

She added, “The disruption caused to people and businesses by the power cut in August was unacceptable. However, customers can be confident that we have one of the most robust energy systems in the world and today’s report will help us reduce the risks of it happening again and ensure our energy sector is better prepared in the future.”

The report outlines 10 actions, as follows:

  1. Disseminate the lessons learnt to the wider electricity connected generation community.
  2. Review and improve compliance testing and modelling processes for new and modified generation connections.
  3. Review embedded generators’ understanding of, and compliance with, the Distribution Code; and assess whether current measures are fit for purpose.
  4. Review the timescales for the Accelerated Loss of Mains Change Programme and consider widening its scope to include distributed generation that unexpectedly disconnected or de-loaded on 9 August.
  5. Review current requirements for holding reserve, response and system inertia.
  6. Review of the Low Frequency Demand Disconnection (LFDD) scheme, which is designed to limit the fall in frequency for extreme events, and present options for short- and long-term improvements.
  7. Scope and define what an essential service is, and better understand their capacity to deal effectively with power disruptions.
  8. Develop and deliver guidance for essential services owners/operators, to support contingency, continuity and resilience planning.
  9. Develop and test a comprehensive communications strategy for use by industry and government.
  10. Develop and test revised operational protocols and frameworks for communications between wider industry during incident response scenarios.

Ofgem has also today published the conclusions of its own investigations into last August’s incident. It summarised the lessons learnt and announced voluntary payments totalling £10.5 million for companies involved in the power outages.

Charlotte Hathway

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